Helen’s career gold at the end of the rainbow

Helen (left) and her employment consultant Sade (right)

Helen, 27, was looking to make a start in her retail career and reached out for support to make it happen.

She connected with her local APM Employment Services office in her hometown of Werribee, west of Melbourne.

Helen lives with an intellectual disability, and had a limited employment history, but she was determined to find a role which suited her outgoing and bubbly personality.

With a positive attitude toward employment, Helen her interest in the retail industry but she wasn’t sure how to begin her employment journey.

Helen describes some of her main motivations to find work as “to get money and to learn new skills”.

During her initial appointments with APM, Helen, her support worker and employment consultant Sade worked to identify potential employers that would be supportive and understanding of Helen.

Additionally, her ideal role would have to be accessible by public transport.

She was able to access support through the Disability Employment Services program, which is delivered by APM Employment Services.

Sade knew it was important to highlight Helen’s ability to interact with others, and reviewed APM’s strong network of employers within their local community.


Helen makes a change

“Finding employment for Helen has honestly been my highlight of working at APM,” Sade said.

Sade got in touch with Steve from The Rainbow Club, a disability services club that establishes activities and specialist services throughout Australia.

In June, Steve invited both Helen and Sade for a casual interview at their Point Cook office to discuss Helen’s employment goals.

Helen’s bright and bubbly personality shone through, and Steve offered her the opportunity to undertake the position of an Administration Assistant with The Rainbow Club. Which was a role created just for her.

“We arranged a meet and greet at The Rainbow Club,” Sade recalls.

“I was just there to support Helen as it was quite a daunting experience for her. They hit it off immediately and Helen had nothing to be nervous about.”

“She wears her rainbow club shirt with so much pride” she added.


A valued team member

Helen was hugely excited to begin employment, attending the APM office after her first week in her role, eager to debrief with Sade.

She has learnt new skills and has developed her existing ones at a pace she is comfortable with, having a supportive employer by her side to slowly reintroduce her to the workforce.

Prior to commencing in her job, Helen would require the assistance of her support worker to attend her appointments.

After roughly 16-weeks of employment, Sade has seen a big changes in Helen from when they first met.

“(The Rainbow Club) support Helen in the most caring and considerate way” Sade said. Helen’s confidence has grown, and she now attends her weekly post placement support appointments on her own.

"I like going there (to work) because I get to talk and laugh with my colleagues,” she said.

“I feel valued, and we just have so much fun! My favourite part is shredding, I get to use a big shredder!"

She has used her income to purchase the latest iPad, something she had saved for since starting in her job.

Helen is proud of the money she is making and has a sense of belonging within her community.


Disability, injury, or health condition and need a job?

You could be eligible for help in finding a suitable job from APM Employment Services, just like Helen.

As Australia’s largest provider of Disability Employment Services we help people with permanent or temporary disabilities, injuries, mental health conditions and other diagnosed barriers which may prevent them finding successful employment.

Register with us today, or call our team on 1800 276 276 to get started.

Looking for staff?

We don’t just support job seekers, we also help thousands of employers find reliable staff and access government incentives when hiring new employees.

If you’re an employer, you could access wage subsidies and funds for training and workplace modifications when hiring a person with disability for full or part-time work.

Plus, you will be enhancing the diversity of your business while making a real positive difference in a person’s life.

Get in touch with your nearest APM Employment Services team, or email support@apm.net.au.